Archive for the ‘Fun & Games’ Category

trick or treat on transit

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Ghosts and ghouls large and small, Wonder Woman and Mighty Toys – on Halloween, they all take transit! And for good reason – not only does transit take you there with ease, and allow you and your little ones to stay safe on the creepiest night of the year, transit also provides spook-tacular opportunity for people watching. There’s no better place to get the full spectrum of Halloween frivolity than transit.

Now as far as we know, there are no haunted buses in York Region, but there may be haunted houses, and you can visit them by transit.

One example is the Sharon Temple in the village of Sharon, a National Historic Site with a haunted reputation. Perhaps if you listen, you may hear the sounds of a great feast being prepared, music and footsteps, as others have reported. You can visit it on transit. From the Newmarket GO Bus Terminal, you take the YRT/Viva Route 50 bus.

Another reportedly ghostly haunt is Thornhill’s Heintzman House (circa 1817). Author John Robert Colombo writes in Mysteries of Ontario that it’s haunted by the angry-looking ghost of Colonel Cruikshank. But the haunting generally doesn’t interfere with weddings and events hosted at the venue. It’s served by YRT/Viva Route 3, though generally not open to the public.

How about Halloween in a real haunted house? Newmarket’s Henry Harrison House, home to the Grey Goat Pub, writes on the pub blog that sudden door slamming, strange noises from the basement and seeing the outline of an old lady while in the basement are just a few of the ghostly experiences staff has reported. Located on Main Street in Newmarket, you could use the Davis Drive rapidway to connect with Viva buses on Main Street, and enjoy the “spirits” at the pub.

However you celebrate Halloween, we hope you have fun and stay safe!

#MyYongeStreet selfie contest winners

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

With summer winding down and fall nearly on our doorstep, it’s time to pause and celebrate the winners of our #MyYongeStreet selfie contest. Business support is a big part of our rapidway projects, as we know that long-term construction can be disruptive for business owners. To encourage people to rekindle their love of shopping and dining on Yonge Street, with the help of the Town of Newmarket and Chamber of Commerce, we put together a fun and easy contest to enter and win!

Over the span of three weeks, we had more than 50 entries from people who chose to stop, shop and dine on Yonge, supporting the businesses that are the life of the community. With random draws, we gave away three weekly $100 prizes and three grand prize Yonge Street shopping sprees valued at $500, $750 and $1,000.

Scroll down to view some stories from our grand prize winners.




Michelle’s Story – $750 Winner:

Wow! This is amazing! You have just made my day.

– Michelle


Kim’s Story – $500 Winner:

I am a single Mom of 2. [My] eldest is [an] independent/successful 23yr old who lives in Ottawa. My youngest, 20yr [old], with Down Syndrome, lives with me.  When I’m at work, I’ll often have my son hang out in [the] clinic so he isn’t home alone.  Lately, he’s [wanted] to visit the All Star Sports, which is close to where I work.

My youngest son walks over with a pad and paper and wanders around to write his Christmas Wish List.  My son is a Special Olympian for Aurora (baseball, basketball and golf), [and] is a collector of anything sports related.  He has quite a collection of jerseys/t-shirts ([and] proudly wears them daily).

I noticed a couple weeks ago while in All Star Sports […], the contest from viva[Next] to help support local business during the Viva construction on Yonge St., between Sawmill and Davis.

A fun contest – submit a selfie at the store affected by construction – was a creative way to say thank you to business owners.  So, I snapped a picture of [my son] with his new Chicago Black Hawks t-[shirt] purchased at All Star Sports, and for fun, submitted his picture.

I was super excited to find out that we were selected a winner in the contest.  Sweet! $500 goes a long way in these shops and so I wanted to get my youngest son his desired jersey from All Star Sport. A sweet treat for me at Beautiful Boutique and a massage certificate for my eldest son when he comes home for a visit – a wonderful massage with at Daylyn Wellness.

I’m grateful and blessed – thank you viva[Next] for the surprise win!

– Kimberly




Thank you to everyone who took part in the contest and to businesses along Yonge Street in Newmarket for supporting it.  Your patience and support has been much appreciated!

To sign-up for construction updates, visit

#MyYongeStreet Selfie Contest

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

#MyYongeStreet Selfie Contest

Get your selfie stick ready, the #MyYongeStreet selfie contest launches on Monday, August 14!

We’ve partnered with the Town of Newmarket and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce to bring the summer of selfies to Yonge Street. Enter for a chance to win weekly prizes or one of three grand prize shopping sprees. We’re proud to support the businesses that make Yonge Street a great place to stop, shop and dine.

here’s how it works

Take a selfie with your purchase from a business on Yonge in Newmarket, share the image on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyYongeStreet, and you’ll be automatically entered into weekly random draws for a chance to win one of three Yonge shopping sprees. You can also submit your image to for a chance to win.

contest dates:

  • Monday, August 14 through to midnight on Sunday, September 3, 2017

it’s easy to enter:

  1. Visit a business within the Yonge Street rapidway construction area in Newmarket [between Savage Road/Sawmill Valley Drive and Davis Drive].
  2. Take a ‘selfie’ with your purchase in the business on Yonge.
  3. Post your selfie on Twitter or Instagram, or email to, using the hashtag #MyYongeStreet.


  • Each week, three lucky winners will receive $100 to be spent in the store where the winning selfie was taken.
  • There will be three grand prize draws for Yonge Street Shopping Sprees valued at $1000, $750 or $500.

To learn more about the contest, visit

learning outside the classroom

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

learning outside the classroom

While your kids may lament the early mornings and long days that come with being back in school, there’s no denying the amount of pride they feel when they learn something new.  This fall, embrace learning by visiting York Region’s centres of culture and education.

Markham: Flato Markham Theatre

Located just off of Highway 7 at Warden Avenue, Flato Markham Theatre is a cultural destination for everyone, regardless of their tastes or interests.  This season, Flato Markham Theatre is housing a wide variety of showcases.  From concerts, to tributes, to dance shows, to local theatrical productions, there’s something for everyone, and with it’s convenient location at Highway 7 and Warden, everyone can get there with Viva.

Vaughan: Ansley Grove Library

Ansley Grove Library is attached to Chancellor Community Centre just north of Highway 7 in Woodbridge, and is home to a variety of books, magazines and multimedia materials in many languages including English, French and Italian.  The library also features a children’s room, where events for little ones are put on throughout the year. When you’re done, take an easy walk to Highway 7, where transit will get you home.

Newmarket: Elman W. Campbell Museum

Located on Historical Main Street in the heart of Newmarket, the Elman W. Campbell Museum serves as an educational connection to Newmarket’s history.  The museum is a non-profit educational centre created to preserve and display local artifacts. The Elman W. Campbell Museum also hosts events, including Culture Days open houses and family Halloween parties. This destination is a “can’t miss” for those looking for a compelling, educational outing, just a short walk from Viva Yellow.

These are just a few – every town or city has places to learn and experience culture and history. YRT and Viva will get you to and from the theatre, the library and museum, and since you don’t have to do the driving, bring some reading material and learn on the road! Wondering what your transit options are? Try downloading the YRT/Viva app!


– Sydney Grant, student Public Relations Coordinator


that’s entertainment

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

The towns and cities of York Region offer lots of fun, entertaining activities in the summer months. Whether you’re in the mood to catch a movie and play some games at the arcade, or you’re more drawn to live entertainment, there’s something for you!

Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of the historic downtown area, the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts [RHCPA] is a state-of-the-art performance space that seats over 600 people. Featuring a variety of performances from acclaimed, professional artists, RHCPA performances celebrate the wide range of cultures in York Region. Follow the link above for schedules and ticket information, and be sure to check out the list of free summer concerts.

Newmarket Music in the Park

Every Thursday and Sunday night throughout the summer months, the Newmarket residents gather by Fairy Lake to enjoy an evening of culture, music and fun. Music in the Park is a free event hosted by the Town of Newmarket. Featuring performances from local entertainers, it’s a convenient, low-key evening that the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy. Come on out and support your local performers – they may just be the next big star!

Vaughan Colossus

Is there any better way to spend a humid, rainy summer day than taking in a movie with your friends or family? At Vaughan’s Colossus Cineplex, located right off Highway 7, you can catch all the latest flicks with your nearest and dearest. Additionally, Colossus is decked out with an XSCAPE Entertainment Centre, so you can spend time before and after the movie winning tickets for prizes in this interactive arcade.

If you haven’t visited one of these, add it to your list this summer – maybe it’ll be your new favourite place to go. York Region has lots of entertainment, and whether it’s indoor or outdoor, live performances or movies on the big screen; it’s all just a short transit ride away.


– Sydney Grant, student Public Relations Coordinator

dive into summer

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

dive into summer

The towns and cities of York Region offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor athletic facilities which are open to the public throughout the summer months. Regardless of skill level, athletic prowess, or lack thereof, these destinations offer something fun and active for everyone. With easy access to our expanding Viva network, summer fun is right at your door.

Richmond Hill: The Wave Pool

York Region’s only indoor wave pool, The Wave Pool, is a destination with something to offer visitors of all ages. In addition to the central wave pool, this destination also features a twisting, 160-foot long water slide, a swirl pool and an on-deck sauna. If you’re looking for some family fun in a safe atmosphere, surf your way over to The Wave Pool.

Markham: Pan Am Centre

Built for the 2015 Pan Am games, the Pan Am Centre in Markham boasts an Olympic-sized pool with 10 lanes. A location suited for more experienced athletes, the Pan Am Centre hosts endurance lane swims throughout the week, on either a 25 metre or 50 metre course. However, if you consider yourself more of a spectator, the Pan Am Centre is home to a variety of competitions and events throughout the year.

Newmarket: Of Rock and Chalk

Located on Ontario Street, just off Davis Drive, Of Rock and Chalk is an indoor rock climbing facility in the heart of Newmarket. Decked out with over 46 different climbing routes, six different bouldering areas and a variety of other features, Of Rock and Chalk is guaranteed to be a fun time for the whole family. Additionally, Of Rock and Chalk offers a variety of courses and passes from a beginner’s course to individually booked climb time, making it an exciting challenge for people of all skill levels.

So whatever your activity while you’re out and about – chasing Pokémon, enjoying a community event or diving into your local pool – we at vivaNext are working hard on construction projects to add dedicated lanes for Viva to help you get there faster. We hope you’re enjoying this great summer!

– Sydney Grant, student Public Relations Coordinator

Happy Canada Day!

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Today, Canadians across the country are celebrating the 149th anniversary of confederation with a well-deserved sum-sum-summertime day off and long weekend.

At vivaNext, we’re happy and proud to be building rapid transit and creating jobs in wonderfully diverse and fast-growing York Region – the best place to live in Canada!

There’s a great selection of events to enjoy this weekend, including the public debut of the Pride of Canada Carousel. In place of the usual ponies, this incredible carousel includes 44 quintessentially Canadian characters, like a Mountie, a moose, a bumblebee and a beaver, to name a few. Check it out at the Markham Canada Day celebration, noon to 5:00 p.m., Friday July 1 at 162 Enterprise and Birchmount – Viva can drop you right at the door with fast, easy service.

Check out more local York Region Canada Day events in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Newmarket and Aurora – and in the nation’s capital.

As you take part in these celebrations, we wish you a fun, safe long weekend enjoying all the things Canada has to offer. Make your commute more enjoyable and take transit as part of your holiday adventures this weekend.


Questions or comments? Comment below or email us at To stay up-to-date on construction, sign up for email updates at


season’s greetings from vivaNext

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Click here to see our e-Card!

It’s the season for celebrating, and here at vivaNext we’re in the spirit.

Lots of progress has been made on our projects across York Region, and since we’re on a roll, we’re making a resolution to keep up the momentum in 2016! Our offices will be closed for a few days from December 25 to January 1, as we prepare to ring in the New Year with progress on our minds [see holiday hours for project info offices in Vaughan and Newmarket].

We hope you take the time to celebrate with family and friends, and have some fun. If you’re out celebrating, be sure to plan a way to get home. If you’re looking for a little challenge, try your skills with our online game.

Happy Holidays to everyone and a Happy New Year – see you in 2016!


moving the masses: Pan Am and Parapan Am Games rely on mass transit to make it all happen

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Get ready, the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are coming to the Greater Toronto Area!

Get ready, the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games have arrived! This is the world’s third-largest international multi-sport games. That means 250,000 visitors, and over 7,000 athletes converging on the GTA this July and August.

When you want to move the masses, you need mass transit.

Imagine 1.4 million spectators [that’s how many tickets there are for the Pan Am Games] potentially trying to make their way to over 300 events all over the GTA from July 10 to 26. Or 50,000 people all going downtown on a single night to attend the Opening Ceremonies at Rogers Centre on July 10.

Without transit, getting people to mega-events like this would be traffic chaos. The Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is relying on mass transit infrastructure to make it all happen. Organizers have adopted what they call a “transit-first approach” – doing all that they can to get people to take transit during the Games.

  • Tickets to the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games include free transit with local services such as GO Transit, Toronto Transit Commission [TTC], YRT/Viva  and many more.  Just show your Games ticket and ride for free.
  • Extra TTC and GO train service will run during the Games and subway service will start at 6am on Sundays instead of the usual 9am.
  • Several games venues won’t have parking. [Accessible parking is allowed, but should be pre-booked.]
  • Apps and online tools can help people optimize their transit and driving routes.
    • Triplinx is Metrolinx’s interactive transit trip planning tool, which launched in May, and provides step-by-step, real-time directions for transit riders.
    • 2015 Games Trip Planner provides real-time driving and transit routes during the Games.
    • The ‘Call One’ Call Centre, run by York Region Transit, will allow Games spectators to book specialized transit, coordinating service between GO Transit and all nine specialized transit service providers in the Games area, including York Region Transit Mobility Plus.

Our first rapidway on Highway 7 East in Markham and Richmond Hill is ready for the Pan Am Games. While it wasn’t planned specifically for this event, the rapidway will make travelling to events at Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre near Kennedy Road and Enterprise Boulevard much easier.

Major international events like this will often spur the creation of transit infrastructure. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games led to the creation of the Canada Line, a light rail train in Vancouver that connected the city to the airport.

Vancouver Olympics organizers encouraged spectators and commuters to turn to transit during the Games, just as Pan Am/Parapan Am Games planners are doing now.

Transit service in Vancouver experienced record ridership during the Olympics, up 31 percent with an average daily ridership near 1.6 million.

There was also an amazing, surprising after-effect. Once people got used to riding transit, they kept riding, even when the Olympics were over.

Ridership increased by nearly eight percent that year, excluding the Olympics numbers, which was partly due to the new Canada Line, and partly due to people keeping up their Olympic transit habit.

Now that’s a legacy for the future.

For mass events, transit just makes sense. When everyone has so many places they need to be all at once, it’s so much easier to be car-free, sit back and enjoy the ride.


make some #connections this summer

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

It’s that time of year again, as the temperature rises and schools close, we start making plans for the summer. No matter whether you’re planning to take a big vacation or find fun and excitement in York Region, know that Viva is there to make your trips for work, shopping or playing a fast and enjoyable experience.

But on a day like today, we’re concentrating on the fun. Join us at events across York Region this summer in your community.  This July 1, our vivaNext team will be out celebrating Canada Day at the Kanata Summer Festival in Newmarket.

itching for ways to win?

Pick up a scratch ‘n’ win card from our vivaNext team at your next community event. We’ll be handing out vivaNext scratch cards for a chance to win one of 12 PRESTO cards, or one of three iPad Air 2 tablets. Both are perfect for getting you around town or staying connected to the people and places we love most. A PRESTO card is the most convenient way to get around town, connecting YRT/Viva, GO buses and trains, and the TTC with one card! And the iPad Air 2 is equally convenient for business or pleasure with a wide selection of apps to choose from [like this one, perhaps?]. For complete details, visit our website, or go straight to the rules and regulations.

up for a challenge?

For those who enjoy games check out our summer on-line game – another PRESTO card is up for grabs. The highest score wins, so play early and often to better your score. Play the #Connections Summer Game here.

Davis Drive walking tours in Newmarket

Looking for something to do this summer? Show your support for Davis Drive businesses with a short, guided walking tour of the new rapidways under construction. See the progress in action! Best of all, you’ll receive a $10 voucher to use at a participating Davis Drive restaurant on the day of your tour. Space is limited, so please register for a date and time convenient to you.

There is a lot happening around town and we hope to see you out and about this summer. In the meantime, Happy Canada Day everyone!